After the Deadline Live for WP.com

Last week you guys published 1.4 million new blog posts, but you only ran the spell checker about 204 thousand times. Ahem. The two possible explanations for this are that we’re all perfect writers or that we just forget to run the spell checker. I’m in the latter camp.

I don’t blame you — spell checkers are usually pretty lame. They are bad with most proper nouns and usually my problem isn’t spelling (which my browser catches), but grammar and style.

It’s amazing to me how hard it is to edit one’s own writing. I can read something I’ve written ten times, even speak it out loud, and miss obvious errors and mistakes that an editor (often Jane) spots on their first pass. And what if Jane isn’t around?

Now there’s a solution for everybody. It’s already live on your blog, and it’s from a company called After the Deadline. Here’s a video to introduce you to it:

When I first tried After the Deadline I was blown away; it was so much better than other checkers I’d used, and it was by one guy building this thing that solves a problem other folks have teams of PhDs trying to solve. I reached out to Raphael (the one guy) to see how we could get this technology in front of WordPress users and ended up doing a deal for Automattic to buy his entire company.

The other cool thing about this new technology is that it’s getting better every day — Raphael is constantly adding new rules and heuristics, and the technology is learning from millions of blog posts on WP.com to make the contextual parts of the checker smarter and smarter.

At its core WordPress has always been about writing — that’s why we put so much effort into things like the visual editor, revisions, and auto-save, so you never lose your work. Now you have another arrow in your quiver to help you present the best possible face to your readers and the world.

As the video above shows, you can enable and customize the way After the Deadline analyzes your posts by adjusting the new Proofreading settings in your profile, and then use the new feature by clicking on the icon in the Visual Editor toolbar that has ABC and a green checkmark on it. After the Deadline will analyze your post as you write it and highlight potential errors with an underline (red for spelling, green for grammar, blue for style), similar to grammar and spell checkers in word processing software. Clicking on a highlighted word or phrase will reveal the suggested correction, tell you why it’s suspected to be an error, and allow you to accept or ignore it.

You can read more about the story behind Automattic acquiring After the Deadline on the official AtD blog.

This feature is English-only for now (give us a little time) and available for WordPress.org as a plugin.


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Matt

164 Comments

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  1. Pingback: Automattic Aquires AtD — Matt Mullenweg
  2. bradbice

    Will this be included in future WordPress releases? Like perhaps a 2.8.5?

    Like

  3. Pingback: Automattic Acquires After the Deadline for Better Spealing | CenterNetworks
  4. xavier

    Exhibit #1: “Last week you guys published 1.4 million new blog posts, but you only ran the spell checker about 204 thousand times. Ahem. ”

    Exhibit #2: “(…) the technology is learning from millions of blog posts on WP.com to make the contextual parts of the checker smarter and smarter”.

    So, if no one focuses on fixing one’s mistake, and AtD learns from non-checked posts, wouldn’t that make it dumber and dumber? ;-)

    Sorry, I just had to point at this funny tidbit:)

    Excellent find, Matt, and I look forward to seeing this implemented in other languages! Great great move, really!

    Like

  5. Pingback: After the Deadline: Acquired « After the Deadline
  6. the rufus

    I give you a little time, but then I’ll need it for German language or let’s say the Austrian way using it ;)

    Like

  7. randomgeek1

    Yes! This is a big improvement over the old spell-checking system. What a pleasent surprise as I was finishing my latest post. This will make my blogging a heck of a lot easier. Good job WordPress.

    Like

  8. Chittaranjan

    Good Addition.

    I wonder why its called “After the Deadline”. Does it imply there’s still time to make that cricual change before the deadline? But in that case wouldn’t it be called “Before the Deadline”?

    I’m confused :|

    Like

  9. Pingback: Automattic Acquires Spellcheck Plug-In After The Deadline
  10. Raptor

    And what about Russian language?

    Like

  11. lune

    I never used spell checker as something automattically checked my words as I typed them, what is it?
    Anyway, GREAT new littel thingy to play with Matt, thanks!
    x

    Like

  12. izikavazo

    “A unique way of spelling a specific word.” Hilarious.
    Funny thing: I accidentally stumbled upon these options a few minutes ago. The strange thing is, I haven’t been to that page on my profile for almost a year. What are the odds?

    Like

  13. Matt

    Sweet! I’ll be an author of untold heights. Thanks!

    Like

  14. Abravanel

    Last week you guys published 1.4 million new blog posts, but you only ran the spell checker about 204 thousand times. Ahem. The two possible explanations for this are that we’re all perfect writers or that we just forget to run the spell checker.

    FF spell checker – the WP s/c is a bit more “choppy” and on bad connections has led to loss of data, (ie tries to save the draft but bad connection corrupts (in lack of a better term) it).

    Like

  15. arcadata

    Hmmm – thanks for the tip!

    Like

  16. xcobar

    Great feature!
    Nice improvement to WP users!.; )
    PS.: The link to video in post is missing… ; ) – “Here’s a video to introduce you to it:”
    Greetings from Brazil

    Like

  17. KSINDGA

    Awesome. Works great.

    Like

  18. nickie wang

    it’s good to know that wordpress team really works hard. thanks!

    Like

  19. hope101

    Sweet! Thanks for constantly improving this site. I’m a relatively new user, yet I’ve seen some fabulous changes in just a few short months. Color me impressed.

    Like

  20. hbs1991

    I think this sounds and looks fantastic, I can hardly wait to use it.

    Like

  21. katyallgeyer

    It sounds good! I must say, I usually cut ‘n’ paste my articles from Word into my blog and webpages and just use the spellchecker there first. Maybe this will save me time and Qi.
    Thanks, WP!

    Like

  22. whisperinggums

    Fascinating. The example picked up two of my big pedantic issues. I absolutely HATE the use of UTILIZE instead of USE. But most people think it’s SO much better to use a multi-syllable word! the other one is SOMEONE THAT. Now, downunder we were taught that you always use WHO after people but THAT (or WHICH) after things. However, I believe that in the USA, THAT after people is perfectly ok. It grates on my delicate ears but I have checked USA grammar books and I believe it is OK. Or, did I read incorrect USA grammar books? Whatever, I will use this product in future.

    Like

  23. Montagón

    ¡Genial! Otra forma de corregir las faltas cómodamente, me gusta.

    Like

  24. Zaeriuraschi 11098 (pronounced zay-ree-ooh-ras-chee)

    AWESOME!! :mrgreen: (How long has it been since I used that emote?)

    I’m good at spelling and grammar, but every so often, I misspell words and make mistakes in grammar in my blog posts. The spell checker didn’t help much, but this new one will be terrific! All we need now is a spell checker for comments! :)

    What will you guys think of next? Will WordPress give us the power to fly? :lol:

    Like

  25. Daniel Brusilovsky

    Congratulations both Automattic and After the Deadline!

    Like

  26. Pingback: Automattic acquires spellchecking company After the Deadline | UpOff.com
  27. trollboy

    wowie wow wow wow. Absolutely amazing!

    Like

  28. qbit

    I don’t need spell checkers, and people shouldn’t.

    Like

  29. Pingback: WordPress Maker Acquires a Better Spell Checking Tool
  30. Pingback: After the Deadline, Two Thumbs up! « #8 Atomic
  31. Pingback: Automattic Acquires Spellcheck Plugin - After The Deadline | Huzzer Magazine
  32. Pingback: MU Wordpress & Wordpress Themes - WordPress Maker Acquires a Better Spell Checking Tool
  33. Vikas Gupta

    Extremely interesting! I bet 9 out of 10 companies do not think on this aspect [just as only 204 people or instances of spell checking obtain in 1.4 million new blog posts]!

    I am not surprised the comments here are rather long. I am as much excited because I love the English language!

    And you bought the company itself!!! Birds of same feather always flock together! :D

    I saw a WP video for the first time, great quality and AtD has lot of features! Artificial intelligence, ahem! :)

    I read their FAQ: The name ‘After the Deadline’ is inspired by the NY Times After Deadline blog!! Interesting!

    I am addicted to ‘Windows Live Writer’ and will either submit drafts from it to the editor to use this service or simply or will check it at ‘polish my writing’!

    Thanks. :D

    Like

  34. that girl again

    When you say ‘English’, do you mean American English?

    Like

  35. Pingback: Automattic Acquires Spellcheck Plug-In After The Deadline | Technology
  36. ShadowWing Tronix

    I’ve been using Firefox’s spell checker (partly because formatting is easier in Firefox than IE), but it has nothing for grammar. This is a welcome feature.

    Like

  37. bradbice

    “You can get it today as a plugin.”

    Matt, thanks, I read that part :)

    I am wondering if this functionality will be part of future WordPress releases, so I don’t have to download and install the plugin in all of my WP installations.

    Like

  38. sravan953

    Glad to hear it!

    Like

  39. Pingback: WordPress Maker Acquires a Better Spell Checking Tool | HyipLife.com
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  41. Pingback: WordPress Maker Acquires a Better Spell Checking Tool | Casey-Computing and Technology
  42. Brian Lutz

    Well, maybe if the existing spellchecker wasn’t so broken, more people would have used it… Between all the false positives and the tendency for it to randomly eat spaces in front of flagged words (often cvreating more errors than it fixes) I found it easier to just cut and paste into Word.

    Like

  43. raincoaster

    “Over-used cliches” is redundant.

    Like

  44. timethief

    A very useful and customizable feature – thanks :)

    Like

  45. Pingback: WordPress Maker Acquires a Better Spell Checking Tool | Increase Targeted Web Site Traffic
  46. Pingback: SCS Tambayan » WordPress Maker Acquires a Better Spell Checking Tool
  47. The Lazy Aussie

    Since I’m not seeing the “z” corrected in utilise, I’m assuming it is USA spelling? Didn’t see the option for no weird American spelling in the video.

    Like

  48. art predator

    NICE!!! I can’t wait to turn my college students on to this when they start their blogs in a week or two!! Thanks–from me and them! (Now, will this be something we’ll ever be able to use with comments?? That’s where I need it!)

    Like

  49. Exodus

    this is very useful, indeed. thanks heaps, WP! <3
    but i guess it will take ages till we can have this feature in Vietnamese. :'(

    Like

  50. fortheeactor

    im not sure about this one.. yeah im all up for easy work. but i like the mistakes.

    Like

  51. Pingback: WordPress and After the Deadline join forces for better blogging « Ljubomir Gatdula
  52. Pingback: Kartik Mistry (kartikm) 's status on Wednesday, 09-Sep-09 04:48:46 UTC - Identi.ca
  53. Todd

    awesome feature. i love it.

    Like

  54. pochp

    I don’t like using mechanical editors too but this one works like human!
    BEST I’ve ever used- and just a newbie ‘AfterTheDeadline’ on WP at that.
    Just between us (isn’t it unethical to use this as my personal spell-check outside WP?) :-)

    Like

    • rsmudge

      Hah not at all. I take the *greatest* joy in knowing something I made helps you in some way. Best of luck and enjoy After the Deadline. — Raphael (AtD developer)

      Like

  55. Tim

    Wow, that’s a pretty short list of possibilities that you have there. … As for me, I run the spell checker I have in Firefox before I post my blog via ScribeFire. … And there are a lot more third party posting options than ScribeFire.

    … Would that account for a couple hundred thousand postings without spellcheck? :-)

    Like

  56. Pingback: BusyBB.us » WordPress Maker Acquires a Better Spell Checking Tool
  57. Pingback: After the Deadline Joins Automattic « Raanan Bar-Cohen
  58. Pingback: WP.com で After the Deadline が使えるようになりました! « ブログ « WordPress.com
  59. ecokerala

    Good to hear this available as Plug in.. Just a question Matt? Is it possible to integrate “After the deadline” with Comments box by default?

    Save Ecosystem.

    Like

  60. Yasir Imran

    That’s great work but don’t you think it will ask for additional bandwidth and load time ?

    Like

  61. Pingback: Wordpress récupere After the Deadline | Web Actus
  62. vilmoskörte

    I would use it but it only seems to know English, at least I couldn’t find any setting to switch it to another language.

    Like

  63. Janice Robertson

    Great tool. I’ve just gone back in to check a post I had already published and found a couple of errors that I have now corrected. Cool. Thank you. Much appreciated.

    Like

  64. ultraistgut

    Very good, I am waiting for german grammar and style ! ;)

    Is it possible, too ?

    Like

  65. Pingback: Wordpress acquired spell checker 'After the Deadline' | Jinnat Ul Hasan | SEO Consultant | Internet Marketeer | SEO Blogger | London, United Kingdom
  66. bkyram09

    Wow! New stuff coming out all the time. A good tool to have.

    Like

  67. cwulff

    Great feature. Maybe it can even help you to stop using derogatory and prejudicial slang like “lame” in your own WordPress posts.

    Like

  68. Mel Ancholy

    This sounds really great. Wait, is that proper grammar? This will come in real handy for me because I really do stink at grammar. Great job WordPress!!

    Like

  69. Pingback: WordPress.com Introduces After The Deadline « Dummies Of The Year
  70. Sue

    This is awesome. So is WP, for finding and sharing it!

    Like

  71. widi

    Useful for me, as English user as second language.

    Like

  72. Pingback: WordPress acquires After the Deadline (AtD) Spellchecker
  73. legoless

    I never thought spell checking could be so easy. I always looked at it as a chore, but now I’m actually looking forward to it. Thanks WordPress!

    Like

  74. Pingback: Hola PO! » Wordpress ya tiene un genial corrector ortográfico
  75. Pingback: After the Deadline - WordPress Proofreading
  76. jaycruz

    This is really cool. This will definitely help with my constant “its” and “it’s” problem. :)

    Like

  77. eydie429

    THIS IS AN AWESOME SITE. THANK YOU FOR THE FREE BLOG ACCOUNT AND A GREAT SPELL CHECK PROGRAM.

    Like

  78. donnacha

    “… or that we just forget to run the spell checker.”

    Now that you’ve got this new and improved checker, why not turn it on by default?

    If a blog owner finds it annoying, they can press the button to turn it off. It would be good if WordPress could then remember their decision for their next session.

    Also, would be very good to see this applied to comment writing – comments are generally written more quickly and with less review than blog posts, it seem to me that they would benefit even more from AtD. Improving the written standard of comments would increase the amount of people adopting the habit of reading comments, increasing the average time spent on each WordPress.com post.

    Like

  79. Moses

    I never even bothered to spell check… I wonder if I will? “_

    Like

  80. Pingback: Better Content with After the Deadline | Vocino Labs
  81. bigcaseydog

    This is a great new feature! I love it! I for one, know that I don’t take a ton of time to check my spelling and grammar.

    Like

  82. T3CK

    This is a great feature thank you adding this helpful feature. Another great reason why WordPress Rocks.

    Like

  83. Pingback: Trying out “After the deadline” « Will.Whim
  84. Pingback: WordPress Maker Acquires a Better Spell Checking Tool | NASZAKLASA
  85. gullybogan

    Yeah, but this would fully mess with the way i, like, express myself, dude. I’ve worked long and hard to develop my personal voice, and i don’t want no ROBOT turning my edgy, out-there posts into soulless automata that sound like a bunch of freakin’ job applications…

    Like

    • rsmudge

      The style checker options are from the Plain English http://www.plainlanguage.gov/ I understand that style checking isn’t useful to everyone (although it helps me a lot!) so these options are disabled by default. AtD only checks grammar, spelling, and misused words until you turn the other stuff on. We’re not out to stop you from expressing yourself–at all. Also if you find it keeps flagging stuff that is part of how you express yourself, we made it easy to select “Ignore Always” and you’ll never see that error again. So I like to think you get the best of both worlds.

      Like

  86. Pingback: Just a little housekeeping « I’m Just an Avatar
  87. mkys

    No it won’t fully mess with the way you, like, express yourself… It’s toggle-able ; ]

    Like

  88. V SEKHAR

    This tool is not only useful in bloging but also helps people to know where they are going wrong in spelling as well as grammar (It doesn’t seem all issues are added). Thanks a lot. By the way how to use the plug-in in word editor? Sorry, asking questions is prohibited here but answer has already been given here which forced me to raise this follow-up question.

    Like

  89. Nita

    I do spell check but in word before I paste my post. But this will be an additional help. Thanks

    Like

  90. elenwo1987

    For now, all ihave to say is that i am very glad for joining this site

    Like

  91. thoughtyblog

    I write in two languages on my blog. It would be nice if it was possible to switch between the grammar, depending on the language I use.

    Also there are browsers which include dictionarys (but no grammar checks), so there was no need for me to press the spelling button.

    Like

  92. David H.

    So it doesn’t suggest that you write “204 thousand times” as “204,000”? ;)

    Like

  93. absolutegrace

    Thanks so much!! Grammar is an incredibly important aspect of writing, and I need all the help I can get! Thanks! Another perk from Word Press!!

    Like

  94. BJH

    Oh, thanks. Real live human editors and proofreaders don’t get no respect anymore.

    EDITORS OF THE WORLD, UNTIE!

    Like

    • rsmudge

      Hehe… :) I see AtD as a safety net meant to help catch some things. A computer will never replace a human editor but I want to have a computer assist with what it’s good at. It also helps for a good first pass over the information. I can’t see my own mistakes (repeated words and some homophone mistakes) when writing. AtD makes a sincere effort to help with these.

      Like

  95. Isxek

    AtD is great for that last-minute proofreading. Thanks to Raphael and WP for adding this really neat plugin!

    Like

  96. hippieprof

    Of course, many of us compose offline in Word (or another word processor) and run our spellchecks there – and then paste the final product into WordPress.

    — hippieprof

    Like

  97. Merv Adrian

    Hope it’s available for WP.com soon too!

    Like

  98. hollycraw

    Thanks so much for working diligently to give us the top of the line blogging tools and experiences!

    Many blessings to you!

    Like

  99. stephenpaterson

    I write my posts in a word processor first (NOT ‘Word’, as I’m English and therefore allergic to anything Bill Gates tells me my language should be) and speall check it, if necessary, within that. Thanks anyway.

    Like

  100. freduard88

    Pretty cool! Love it! =) Thanks!

    Like

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